Former North Carolina Tar Heel and current NBA center John Henson recently signed a $45 million contract extension with the Bucks, but all those zeros don’t make him exempt from being racially profiled when trying to shop at a Milwaukee jewelry store.
On Instagram, Henson tells the story about how when he tried to enter Schwanke-Kasten Jewelers during business hours, the employees locked the doors and called the cops.
Went to@schwankekasten jewelry today in White-Fish Bay during regular business hours . They locked the door and told me to go away. After I rang the doorbell twice everyone went to the back. No answered the door or told me what was going on. This was followed by two police cars pulling up and parking across the street and watching me for 5 minutes ( I assumed they were called by the store ) . I was then approached by 2 officers and questioned about the dealer vehicle I was in which is apart of my endorsement deal with Kunes country Chevrolet and asked me what I wanted amongst other things that were just irrelevant to me being there just trying to shop at the store like a normal paying customer would do . I told them I was just trying to look at a watch. He then had to go in the back and tell them to come out it was safe but this is after they ran my plates and I overheard them talking about doing more of a background check on the car. The employees finally came out of the back and proceeded to conduct business like they previously were as we walked up . This was one of the the most degrading and racially prejudice things I’ve ever experienced in life and wouldn’t wish this on anyone . This store needs to be called out and that’s what I’m doing . You have no right to profile someone because of their race and nationality and this incident needs to be brought to light and I urge anyone who ever is thinking of shopping here reads this and doesn’t bring any business to this discriminatory place.
Kudos to Henson for not allowing this blatant example of racism go unchecked. Unfortunately, it takes stories like these for people to realize we have a LONG way to go in this country when it comes to race relations, especially when a young man who makes more in a year than the petty workers in that jewelry story will probably make in their lifetime are bold enough to lock him out of the store and call the cops just because he tried to enter.
Since news of their racist practices went public, Schwanke-Kasten Jewelers has suspended and/or locked all of their social media pages. They have yet to issue a statement of apology.
The owner of the store has offered an explanation for why Henson was locked out.
“Racial profiling is never acceptable and deeply regret how the circumstances unfolded Friday and today.”
“The (police) department began to patrol the area and recorded the license plate number of a vehicle the police department determined was suspicious in origin because its plates were issued by a dealer and were not registered to the vehicle on which they were displayed. Based on subsequent conversations between the police and the dealer, the dealer indicated that it was possible the plates were stolen.”
The owner said his store employees saw the same Chevy Tahoe outside the store Monday. They followed safety protocol and called police again.
The Whitefish Bay Police Department has also issued a statement about the incident.